Input versus output goals

A day away from Django posts today to celebrate myself getting to Day 50! Which means, with this post, I have now written at least 5000 words this year. Which brings me onto days topics and a question:

Which of these two goals seem more achieveable?

  1. Write 100 words every weekday for a year.
  2. Write 25000 words in a year.

To me, the second goal is far more daunting than the first, I would have thoughts of "How can I write 25000 words?" and "I'm not a writer". However the trick here is that the first goal would produce more 1000 more words in year than the second!

The key difference is the framing of said goal. The first goal focuses on the input required to achieve a broader goal of writing more, where as the second goal focuses on the output. When you can I would advise framing your goals in terms of the input required as there are a number of benefits to doing so, chiefly:

  • The goal hacks your brain to make the goal more achieveable.
  • It will often be phrased to fit in with your daily or weekly routine which grounds it practically in your life
  • This then leads to the forming of a routine of a habit which will then in turn change your identity (in this case being a writer)
  • Progress is consistent and predictable which means your more likely to achieve the goal, unlike many new years resolutions.

So next time you want to lose weight or write a novel, think about the framing of that goal.